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Events for January 2018

About This Concert:

The New Year sweeps in with two weeks of treasures from Russia’s Romantic master, Tchaikovsky, beginning with his beloved Piano Concerto No. 1.

TCHAIKOVSKY
Symphony No. 1, Winter Dreams
Serenade for Strings
Piano Concerto No. 1

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Fun Facts:

  • Israeli-born pianist Inon Barnatan comes to Minneapolis from the Big Apple where he is the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever artist-in-association.
  • Barnatan performed Rachmaninoff with the Minnesota Orchestra last season and was quickly welcomed back for another performance.
  • Audiences love the Barnatan Blend: amazing technical virtuosity and deep insight—perfectly suited to the power and lyricism of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto.
  • A late holiday surprise for you: Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings isn’t as well known as his symphonies but the melodies are beautiful!

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About This Concert:

Our Tchaikovsky Marathon warms up January with blazing crowd-pleasers like the composer’s Capriccio italien alongside his beautiful but rarely-heard Piano Concerto No. 2, and the most beloved of the composer's symphonies, his Fourth.

TCHAIKOVSKY
Capriccio italien
Piano Concerto No. 2
Symphony No. 4

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Fun Facts:

  • Watch Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition winner pianist Kyle Orth make his Orchestra Hall debut.
  • Tchaikovsky fled to Italy after a disastrous marriage and soaked up the sun, street dances and folk songs of Rome–pouring all of these into his Capriccio italien.
  • Tchaikovsky once said that he’d never write for piano with orchestra because he couldn’t stand the sound of them together but his Piano Concerto No. 1 was such a success that he decided to write a second.
  • Written for Russia’s reigning piano virtuoso of the day Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky’s Concerto was actually premiered in New York City by an American conductor and an English soloist.

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About This Concert:

Our star principal cellist, Anthony Ross, steps into the Tchaikovsky Marathon spotlight to spin one gorgeous melody after another in the Rococo Variations, in between performances of two Tchaikovsky symphonies in one night.

TCHAIKOVSKY
Symphony No. 2
Variations on a Rococo Theme
Symphony No. 5

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Fun Facts:

  • The inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 came from his sister’s butler, who sang Ukrainian folksongs around the house while Tchaikovsky worked.
  • Tchaikovsky’s Rococo theme doesn’t come from the Rococo era (late-18th century), but his own imagination inspired by his hero Mozart, and is followed by eight variations, each more ornate and beautiful than the one before.
  • The word rococo comes from the French word rocaille, which means rock-and-shell garden ornamentation; the style created intricate and whimsical shell-like curves in statues, architecture and design of all kinds.
  • Ten years had passed since Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony when–full of doubt–he started work on his Fifth. After its premiere he said, “I have come to the conclusion that it is a failure.” Today it is his most often-performed symphony.

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About This Concert:

Here are hidden jewels from Tchaikovsky’s treasure box that dazzle like sunlight on fresh snow, plus his beloved, sweeping ballet score crafted into a new suite by Osmo Vänskä.

TCHAIKOVSKY
Symphony No. 3, Polish
Piano Concerto No. 3
Swan Lake Suite

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Fun Facts:

  • Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3 went through more birth pains than any of his compositions, starting out as a symphony (most of which he ripped up) before he turned it into a piano concerto (most of which he ripped up)—leaving only this beautiful single-movement work.
  • Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 was the last work he performed before his sudden death in 1893, but the Piano Concerto No. 3 was the last music he wrote.
  • Swan Lake, like all of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, holds dozens of short numbers and a performance runs for hours. In this performance Osmo Vänskä has compiled his own suite that tells the old Russian tale of the swan that turns into the beautiful girl, Odette.

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About This Concert:

The Tchaikovsky Marathon swirls to a brilliant close with this season’s featured artist, James Ehnes, in perhaps the most beloved concerto of the entire violin repertoire.

TCHAIKOVSKY
Marche Slave
Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

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Fun Facts:

  • Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto today is the most frequently performed and universally adored concerto in the repertoire.
  • Unlike many young violinists, Ehnes says he never practices scales from books, but rather focuses solely on the score he’s working on at the moment. “That’s always been my philosophy, although maybe it’s just laziness masquerading as practicality.”
  • Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 is subtitled Pathétique, mistranslated into French from Tchaikovsky’s Russian original which meant passion.
  • For sheer toxicity, no critic has ever surpassed the sourpuss who said at the 1881 premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto that he’d found “music which stinks in the ear.”
  • Stay after for a NightCap Chamber performance featuring Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor.

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About This Concert:

Extend your Tchaikovsky marathon experience and take in a Nightcap performance of Tchaikovsky’s one and only piano trio, featuring two of the Orchestra’s principal players.

TCHAIKOVSKY
Piano Trio in A minor

Fun Facts:

  • Tchaikovsky dedicated this piano trio to his close friend and mentor, Nikolai Rubinstein, who had passed away a few months before the work was composed. It was premiered on the first anniversary of his death.
  • Tchaikovsky turned down requests from his benefactress to compose a trio. He said: “I simply cannot endure the combination of piano with violin or cello. To my mind the timbre of these instruments will not blend.” He changed his mind not much later and composed his one and only piano trio.
  • Each ticket purchased includes one complimentary beverage (an actual night cap) to be enjoyed with the music.

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About This Concert:

Casual Concert = FUN, COMFORTABLE and a little DIFFERENT than what you might expect.

Includes:

  • $5 Happy Hour
  • Local craft brews
  • Meet the musicians post-concert

The Tchaikovsky Marathon swirls to a brilliant close with this season’s featured artist, James Ehnes, in perhaps the most beloved concerto of the entire violin repertoire.

TCHAIKOVSKY
Marche Slave
Violin Concerto
Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

Read program notes »

Fun Facts:

  • Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto today is the most frequently performed and universally adored concerto in the repertoire.
  • Unlike many young violinists, Ehnes says he never practices scales from books, but rather focuses solely on the score he’s working on at the moment. “That’s always been my philosophy, although maybe it’s just laziness masquerading as practicality.”
  • Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 is subtitled Pathétique, mistranslated into French from Tchaikovsky’s Russian original which meant passion.
  • For sheer toxicity, no critic has ever surpassed the sourpuss who said at the 1881 premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto that he’d found “music which stinks in the ear.”
  • Casual Concerts include: $5 pre-concert happy hour, local craft brew, and an opportunity to meet musicians  in the lobby after the performance.

Complete event details »

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor

Recommended for elementary-age students
Experience Minnesota's top athletes of the concert stage.

Just as top athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Seoul will inspire the world with their feats, Orchestra musicians will draw “wow” responses in this concert of Olympic-inspired works, showcasing connections between winter sports and core elements of music.

Fun Facts:

  • Articulation and texture will receive special focus, as students explore staccato with Vivaldi’s Winter and legato in Waldteufel’s Skaters’ Waltz, and compare the textures of two lush Dvořák works, the solo-voiced Cello Concerto, performed by FRIENDS competition winner Brannon Cho, and the full-orchestra New World Symphony—much like comparing the individual performance in the luge event to the finely-tuned team effort in hockey.
  • Also notable: John Williams’ exciting Olympic Fanfare and Theme, composed for the 1984 Olympics, and a surprise birthday salute to a conductor of Olympic proportions.

Sign up for a homeschool workshop for this performance »

Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerts are for schools, homeschools and families looking for an outstanding arts experience that is both educational and engaging. All orders must have at least one child (ages 1 to 17) and at least one accompanying adult.

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About This Concert:

This performance adds the Orchestra’s talent to Ben Folds‘ vocals and piano for an evening of quirky melodies, impromptu creation, and an epic love-fest between audience and musicians.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • Ben Folds, piano and vocals

Download program notes (pdf) »

Fun Facts:

  • Ben Folds hearts the Minnesota Orchestra—this will be their fourth concert together!
  • He has recorded multiple solo rock albums, as well as collaborations with Regina Spektor, Weird Al and William Shatner.
  • An avid photographer, Folds is a member of the distinguished Sony Artisans of Imagery.
  • Folds was also a judge on NBC’s The Sing-Off, a show that started the careers of many a cappella groups.
  • According to Paste Magazine, “Ben Folds meshes the classical and pop music worlds in ways that few mainstream contemporary artists can hope to achieve.”

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About This Concert:

Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra travel to Indiana and Illinois for a week of concerts and residency activities at Indiana University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The tour concludes in Chicago for the Orchestra’s first performance in 50 years at the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as one of two orchestras being presented on the CSO’s 2017-18 Symphony Center Presents Series. All tour concerts include music by Sibelius and Beethoven, and feature pianist Inon Barnatan in Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

SIBELIUS
En Saga

TCHAIKOVSKY
Piano Concerto No. 1

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 7

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra travel to Indiana and Illinois for a week of concerts and residency activities at Indiana University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The tour concludes in Chicago for the Orchestra’s first performance in 50 years at the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as one of two orchestras being presented on the CSO’s 2017-18 Symphony Center Presents Series. All tour concerts include music by Sibelius and Beethoven, and feature pianist Inon Barnatan in Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

SIBELIUS
En Saga

TCHAIKOVSKY
Piano Concerto No. 1

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 7

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra travel to Indiana and Illinois for a week of concerts and residency activities at Indiana University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The tour concludes in Chicago for the Orchestra’s first performance in 50 years at the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as one of two orchestras being presented on the CSO’s 2017-18 Symphony Center Presents Series. All tour concerts include music by Sibelius and Beethoven, and feature pianist Inon Barnatan in Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

SIBELIUS
En Saga

TCHAIKOVSKY
Piano Concerto No. 1

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 7

Complete event details »

About this Event

A free taproom micro-concert (30-45 minutes of music) performed by our world-class musicians at Utepils Brewery. Hear a sampling of music and share a beer with the musicians after!

Fun Facts:

  • Pint of Music micro-concerts are designed to be a sampling of music. If you want the full Minnesota Orchestra experience, join us for a concert at Orchestra Hall!
  • Meet the musicians after the performance! Musicians will stick around to share a beer with you until around 9pm.
  • Utepils Brewing will give away FREE beer samples at Orchestra Hall for the Feb 10 Fauré Requiem concert.

Please note: This is not a ticketed event. Brewery space and parking is limited. This event is not at Orchestra Hall. Please see off-site address listed below. Must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol. The Minnesota Orchestra encourages you to drink responsibly.

Utepils Brewing
225 Thomas Ave N # 700
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Directions »

#PintOfMusic

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